Monday, November 16, 2009

Beaded Jewelry by Susan: The Big Transition (cont.)

If you read the prior post about the Big Transition, you know I'm talking about the switch -- away from a busy schedule of exhausting outdoor arts and crafts shows and lugging heavy equipment -- to an easy-to-carry setup for doing just two indoor shows and mostly selling online through etsy. This weekend I moved the rest of the earring inventory off the velcro-covered boards that hung on the steel display panels. Now they are empty for the first time in many years!

   What do we have instead, you may ask. Well, the necklaces that hung from four of the boards are each tucked into a plastic bag and resting comfortably in a tote, ready to be laid out on rented tables (that we don't have to lug!) at my Holiday Bazaar Show week after next.
     The earring inventory is huge, so it takes too long to put it out each time. Solution? Lightweight plastic displays stands, filled with earrings, transported in apple boxes (that's right, the guy at the produce department saved them special for us).

     As it turned out, we needed to have eight display units to handle the whole earring inventory. (I told you before, it's an addiction!) And it wasn't easy assembling the units. Of course, they were made in a developing country by some company that most likely pays the employees almost nothing and gives them no tools. So the holes in the lucite were not lined up right, and much painful adjustment had to be made over a couple of weekends by husband David and friend Bob (thanks, guys!). Then, because the bottom rows of the units are shorter than the others, short earrings had to saved out for those locations. But it gets more complicated. We needed to purchase a big bag of the 2x2 inch grey earring cards for all these sweet little beauties to hang on. And, of course, the new cards have the holes punched a quarter-inch lower than the old cards did, so that even the shortest earrings don't hang free on the bottom rung. Time to change old cards for new for all bottom row displays (sigh). Fortunately, we keep the grey cards and just transfer earrings to a cardboard card (my hubby makes them) when they are sold.

     It's quite a sight to see the rotating units all lined up on the table, and it's awesome to realize that I actually made all of these earrings (including the tote full of ones that didn't fit on the displays)! Also, I noted that only two of the eight displays have been photographed and added to my etsy website so far. Hmm ... did anyone warn me that all of this would be work as well as delightful beading fun?
     One of the chrome and plastic stands is devoted to SS/GF (sterling silver and goldfilled) earrings. These tend to be earrings (on precious metal earwires) designed using special handmade or vintage beads that were more costly and hard to find. The other seven displays contain a complete mix of twelve dollar earrings from the "collections" that I've been describing in blog posts.
     Eventually, I hope to get everything online and to see sales coming along regularly (she said optimistically but not, hopefully, delusionally). So keeping the displays out will make it easier for me to find the pair in question when a sale comes through.

For VERY obvious reasons, the six cats are NOT allowed to go in the room with the display units --LOL! They like to help, of course, but that kind of help can be disasterous!
      In a way, it's been kind of sad making the Big Transition. We've enjoyed the outdoor shows and the overall craft show atmosphere -- meeting other artists, getting outdoors, being around local people when they're in a good mood as they stroll around with kids and dogs, listening to music, looking at crafts, and running into friends. But things change, and it's best to make the best of changes whenever you can. I'm looking forward to the next, physically easier phase -- even though all the online work -- photographing, listing, promoting, etc. -- is pretty time-consuming. But it's all about my passion: the beads and the designs I can make with them, making something beautiful. It's magic.

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